Double Gourd Longevity Cricket Cage

c. 1900
$1,480 USD
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W: 4.75" D: 2.75" H: 2.75"
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The practice of keeping crickets as pets began in China as early as the Tang dynasty (618-907). Appreciated for their chirping "songs," crickets were caught at the end of summer and kept in ornate cages throughout the winter, often placed bedside. The slender form of this late 19th-century cricket cage indicates it was designed to be portable, carried around in a pocket or strung on a waistband. The cage is made of a dried gourd, grown within a mold in the double gourd shape, a symbol of luck and prosperity. The molded surface is decorated in low relief with a simple meander and coin design that reads "long life with no boundary." Crafted of finely worked hardwood, the lid is carved with a scene of a scholar riding a horse beside a young boy atop a water buffalo.

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